Artists Liesbeth Bik and Jos Van der Pol (NL) work together as Bik Van der Pol since 1995, they have been working. They live and work in Rotterdam, Netherlands ( Through their practice Bik Van der Pol aim to articulate and understand how art can produce a public sphere and space for speculation and imagination. This includes forms of mediation through which publicness is not only defined but also created. Their work follows from research of how to activate situations to create a platform for exchange and experience of different knowledges. Bik Van der Pol’s mode of working consists of setting up the conditions for encounter, where they develop a process of working that allows for continuous reconfigurations of places, histories, and publics. Their practice is site-specific and collaborative, with dialogue as a mode of transfer; a “passing through”, understood in its etymological meaning of “a speech across or between two or more people, out of which may emerge new understandings”. In fact, they consider the element of “passing through” as vital. It is temporal and implies action and the development of new forms of discourse. Their practice is both instigator and result of this method. They have exhibited their work at numerous venues, as well as participated in biennials such as Gwangju, Istanbul, Jakarta, and Sao Paulo Biennale. Recent and current projects include Paad Bienal 2024 Abi Dabhi (UAE), a research residency project at School of Casablanca (2021–23), Casablanca (Marocco), a project in collaboration with Volt, Bergen (Norway), Take Part (2018–20), at SFMOMA and Public Libraries, San Francisco (USA), and Far Too Many Stories To Fit Into So Small A Box, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw (Poland) (2019-20). Bik Van der Pol were co-initiators of artist-run space Duende existing from 1984-2013, where they organised many activities such as artist in residence programs, talks, screenings and exhibition projects, they were course directors of The School of Missing Studies – a temporary masters programme at Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam (2013–15), and they are advisors at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Liesbeth is a core-tutor at Piet Zwart Institute (Rotterdam), and a member, and currently chair, of the Akademie van Kunsten/Academy of Arts, that is part of the Dutch Royal Academy of Science (KNAW).

Leila Topić is professor of art history and comparative studies and senior curator at Zagreb MSU. She realized numerous solo and group exhibitions during her work as a freelance curator and as an employee of MSU since 2006 (57th Zagreb Salon „Stvari drugačije“, „Krivo srastanje“, „5,5 na Richterovoj ljestvici“, „Unutar strukture- dijalog s Ivanom Piceljom“, „Kradljivci vremena“ (with Jasminka Babić), 60th Poreč Annales, and numerous solo exhibitions such as those of Zlatan Vehabović, Renata Poljak, Damir Žižić and Kristijan Kožul, Olivier Menanteau, Žarko Vijatović, Bojan Gagić, Ana Opalić , Roger Ballen, Sofija Silvija, Javier Arce, Oliver Kosack, Loren Živković Kuljiš, Vida Meić or Željko Kipke.) She initiated the multi-year multimedia exhibition project “Cinematography of Resistance” in collaboration with the Subversive Film Festival and film programmer Dina Pokrajac. Among the more organizationally demanding exhibitions, she curated and presented the group problem exhibition “Lighting out for the territories” in the Vienna Kunsthalle and the Budapest Contemporary Art Center “Trafo”. She also organized and co-curated the group exhibition “L’amour d’risque”, as well as the media-demanding and complex solo exhibitions of Dalibor Martinis (awarded with the Nazor Prize) and Zlatko Kopljar ​​at MSU. She won the V. Nazor Award in 2017 for Dalibor Martinis’ solo exhibition “Data Recovery” at MSU. In addition to editing and writing texts for exhibition publications, Leila Topić edited the translations of Nicolas Bouriaud’s “Relational Aesthetics” and Donald Kuspit’s “The End of Art” in the MSU library “Refleksije”. She is the co-author of the publication “60 Years of Gallery SC” in collaboration with Darko Glavan. She trained as a scholarship holder of the Goethe Institute in Berlin, in the Vienna Museum Quarter on a curatorial scholarship, and at numerous other international curatorial workshops (workshop on mediation in contemporary art “Fall of the Ivory Tower”, Vilnius, Lithuania, workshop “Contemporary phenomena in museums” Bordoaux/ Paris, France, two-month scholarship for cultural management Paris, France, Curators’ network in Madrid, Spain.) She has been an active member and lecturer at the Center for Women’s Studies since 2002. She is a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Media and Communication in Belgrade. She lives and works in Zagreb.



Talk: Liesbeth Bik i Jos van der Pol (NL) te Leila Topić (HR)
in cooperation with the discursive program of the doctoral study of Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb
7.5.2024 u 19:30 
Galerija Putolovac
Ilica 112

In a talk with Leila Topić from MSU Zagreb, Bik Van der Pol will try to touch on the most important topics that have marked their artistic practice so far. Through their practice, they strive to articulate and understand how art can create space for speculation and imagination within the public space. This includes forms of mediation through which the public is not only defined, but also created. By establishing the conditions for the encounter, Bik Van der Pol’s work process enables the continuous reconfiguration of place, history and public. Their practice is site-specific and collaborative and includes publishing, writing and curating. They consider dialogue as a mode of transmission, where the element of “passing through” is vital, because it is temporal and implies action and the development of new forms of discourse. Their practice is both the initiator and the result of this approach. Bik Van der Pol investigate the ways in which human activity in the globalized age has a direct impact on (ecological) systems. They are interested in the potential of the choir in the present. It is important to note that the Greek chorus was not composed of actors – instead, (male) citizens were chosen to represent the city. Their role was to speak on behalf of past and future generations of the city; “When they spoke about what the public already recognized, they were grandfathers. When they expressed what the public felt but could not articulate, they were unborn.”

Artists for Artists Residency Network (AFAR) is an EU co-funded project and residency program, aiming to improve the mobility of contemporary visual artists and curators in Romania, Germany, Croatia, and Austria. The project is led by the Romanian Association for Contemporary Art (ARAC) with its three consortium partners – Goethe Institute Network, Croatian Association of Fine Artists, and Künstlerhaus Vienna.

The AFAR Network project is co-funded by the European Union: ”Views and opionions expressed are however those of the autohor(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsable for them.”